Student Review: Combat Team Tactics April 2015: Old Bear


Since the following is my first AAR following the attendance at Max Velocity Tactical (MVT) Combat Team Tactics (CTT) training, I’ll begin with a little background on myself.

I am a male, in my mid 50’s, who has led a very physically active life. I have attended numerous firearms training courses over the years, most of which were geared toward concealed carry, and long gun (shotgun and carbine) with some room clearing training. I have had ‘introductions’ into what was billed as ‘team tactics’, but they were adjusted for square-range training scenarios (which is obviously not designed to provide realistic training). I have also sustained numerous injuries over the years with a particularly troublesome knee injury, dating back to the 90s, which reared its head during the April CTT class. Long story short, I am a mature man who has hard-road mileage on his frame.

Prior to taking the CTT training, I read numerous AARs from prior attendees. I also had the advantage of speaking with friends who had taken the course, so the previously AARs provided me more perspective. Regardless, of what I ‘thought’ the class was going to be like, it was MORE…much MORE than any of my anticipations, ideas, or imaginings. My initial impression of the class (1st day) was that Max provided extensive and concise information that was on par with the ‘most advanced’ courses I have taken at other square-range schools…and this was just the 1st day! The RTR and stoppage drills provided a basic set of forms in order to engage subsequent training more effectively on days 2 and 3.

Allow me to stop here a moment and state that the Safety Procedure SOPs (covered every morning prior to class) were among the most professional I have seen provided in a potentially hazardous environment (I know something about this subject from my line of work). Safety is paramount with Max and is demonstrated repeatedly throughout the training. In addition, The quality of people at the April CTT event were a mixed group of individuals with various backgrounds and ages, all of which impressed me as being of the highest ideals, intelligence, and personal standards. You have to be a motivated and focused individual to even attend this course. I have been to other training events with much less motivated and disciplined people who I would not want behind me with a rifle (I know some of you know what I’m talking about). Quality People plus Quality Training and Instruction equates to Superior Student Development.

I know many of the AARs presented on the MVT website refer to the sheer physical demand the course, and I cannot elaborate further on their statements because it is all accurate and true (the sound of my own heavy breathing in my amplified electronic earmuffs, as I moved up those hills, still resides in my memory). Moreover, the dynamic range staging and reactive targets are unlike anything I have seen or experienced, thus offering the student the opportunity to drill skills in a manner closer to reality. The more one trains in a “realistic” manner, the less they are burdened with those particular issues during an actual conflict, and this subsequently frees them up to address other concerns before them.

Since everyone has many of the same experiences at the CTT training, I will offer a few personal realizations that I experienced:

• Attachment to your team – I found myself “attached” first, to the 2-man team, then to the four-man team…I felt driven to understand and perform the drills for the men that were moving with me. This was not a bullshit event, and it provided a load of motivation to me to not yield to my aching legs, poor physical condition, and blown knee. You train to protect yourself and your team-mates. The training of advancing up the hill not only expands your understanding of your own physical limitations, but it simulates the physical stress of life and death encounters and offers an effective inoculation for this type of stress.

• Shooting accurately under physical stress is not too difficult and is conducted with your controlled breath. I suspect everyone must find this out for themselves because it appears to abide with one’s personal rhythm.

• Aggression during ‘Contact drills’ MUST be trained in. Aggression, while advancing, aggression while breaking contact, aggression while fighting back. You must be aggressive…not haphazard and stupid, but aggressive, determined and focused…there is no substitute.

• Communication with your team mates during the drills IS paramount, and I found it can even help you break up your tunnel-vision (I’m going to be experimenting with this).

• The realization that my previous firearms training produced unknown byproducts. For example, ‘hesitation’ prior to engaging the enemy may be applauded in some square-range formats as being concerned for ‘what’s behind the backstop’, ‘knowing you target’…etc…etc. That reaction is geared toward Concealed Carry (and all the legal issues associated). MVT training IS NOT this type of training. You must React immediately and decisively to the threat, and Max’s approach moves you toward that goal.

• You will sort out your gear pretty fast during this class and will discover what works and what does not. There is no need for what does not work.

• Injuries can be used to your personal training advantage because they offer additional obstacles that are very real, that MUST be overcome, and will likely occur during real-world conditions. I will insert at this point that Max is a keen observer of the students, and he identified my injured knee shortly after I aggravated it. He fired off a series of questions, one would expect from a seasoned medic, and provided a point of relief for me stating it was more important for me to learn the material than blow my knee out…He left it up to me as to how much stress I would apply to myself in regard to my knee, but I suspect that if I was being a self-destructive dumbass, he would have had words with me…Besides blowing my knee does not help the team and the training is Combat ‘Team’ Tactics.

• Previous square-range ‘presentations’ and training of team tactics are a poor substitute for understand what happens to your body, equipment, and awareness during a rush up a mountain, while your team mates provide cover fire. If square range training is your world, you don’t know what you don’t know…and frankly, that sucks! Square range training is like when you were a kid drawing your letters and practicing your words (It is very important suff),… but we don’t draw our letters after we grow up, do we?

• The final squad-level drill was a ring-side seat as to what a coordinated attack can do, both to you and from you. There is a lot to ponder there, and it was a taste of classes to come. I will be returning for that meal.

In closing, for those of you contemplating attending a MVT class, get off your ass and find a way and make it happen. Take the CTT course first, go home and adapt it to where you live, and drill it, drill it, and drill it. Don’t deceive yourself that your square range training has you prepared for the real thing…That’s like jerking off and telling everyone you had sex with a supermodel…You may feel good, but it’s not real. Go to Max Velocity Tactical. It’s the real deal.

Old Bear




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